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This is already turning out to be a movie that you'll either just love, or hate. Or perhaps this is a bit of a too simple thing to say really, since it's also really being a movie that you must be in the right mood for. I guess I was in the mood for it, since I basically loved every second of it.

It's a spy thriller but a very talkative one. There really is no action in this movie and also no crazy gadgets or any over-the-top movie villains, that try to destroy the world. Just a bunch of middle aged guys inquiring and almost constantly suspecting each other, in the midst of the cold war frenzy. And this is of course also what it really is and was like for most MI6 agents. It makes this a more realistic movie than the average spy thriller but also obviously a far less exciting one. Not that I minded this though.

The movie simply has other qualities to it. I for instance really liked the movie its atmosphere. I admit that I'm often fond of cold war thriller and their overall visual style and atmosphere, so this movie was right up my alley. I really liked its time period and the almost constant sense of paranoia. Even when you don't always get what is going on in its story, you still should be able to be grabbed by it, due to the way it is all getting told, by its director, writers and actors involved.

It really was foremost Gary Oldman's performance that got me into this movie and put me in the right mood for it. I had never seen him act so...well, British! He is of course a British actor, that is however far better known for his work in big American productions. Seeing him- and hearing him play a very British, literary character, was a great experience. They even aged him up convincingly for his role in this movie, which made his character work out all the better. I certainly wouldn't mind seeing more movies with the George Smiley character in it. As long as he also still gets played by Gary Oldman of course!

But he most definitely is not the only well known and great actor in this movie. Actors like Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, CiarĂ¡n Hinds and Benedict Cumberbatch are all in this!

I enjoyed every second of it, though I can definitely see how this movie might bore certain people. It's simply not a movie for just everybody and it also really requires you to be in the right mood for it.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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